I've recently been overhauling the massive collection of poetry that I've written over the years. Most of it is not very good, but I'm posting a few pieces. Constructive criticism would be most welcome, as I am trying to improve my writing style.

I have been experimenting with writing free verse poetry. I'm not entirely satisfied with the results, but here are two of my free verse poems. I came up with the idea for the first one when we were waiting for Dad at the airport last week. 

First Words

We will say something meaningful,
We’ve formed the words, and said them in our minds.
We are determined that you will be impressed
With all the intelligent things we have to say.

You’ll get off the plane, clear customs,
You’ll see us eagerly awaiting there.
We’ll spy you, and we’ll rush over to greet you,
And we’ll give you our carefully prepared speeches.

We are fidgeting in our seats,
Our necks are craned to see you. “There he is!”
My brother says, we run to hug and kiss you,
And forget the words that we intended to say.


Windows to your inmost soul,
Your eyes stare back at me.
Deep grey pools of ageless thought,
Your eyes stare back at me.
Through them I know the inner you,
Not the frail crust of your outer self.
Thoughts cross their flickering surface bright,
Thoughts from your soul, so pure and clean.
Your eyes stare back at me.

This is some older poetry that I wrote a year or two ago.

The Rooster

O proudly strutting, gorgeous bird,
Whose trumpet voice is clearly heard
At daybreak, when the world’s asleep,
Who art thou?

A rooster art thou, wondrous fowl,
With jaunty tail and crimson jowl?
So thou art king of every beast
Thou sayest?

But who has e’er disputed thee
Thy autocratic monarchy?
Sure thou hast never fought to hold
Thy kingdom.

Then if thy subjects are not free,
They must in easy service be,
For I have ne’re seen any pay
Thee homage.

This one was inspired by Job 19: 19-25. I love that passage of Scripture, but the poem needs lots of help. :)

The Horse

Hast mortal man gi’en the horse his strength,
Or clothed his neck with flowing mane,
Or gi’en his stride a long reaching length?

Hast he made his nostrils show their glory,
Or canst he make him snort and fear,
Or brave him up for battle gory?

The great horse, he paws in the valley,
He reveleth in his own strength,
He chargeth when war trumpets sound forth the sally.

The strongest weapons will not avail,
His furious charge to withstand.
Spear and bow both against him will fail.

Such is the creature the Lord God has made,
Let us all laud and praise Him
For the great pow’r He has displayed.


As I sat down by yonder stream,
And mused about bright days gone by,
My thoughts were turned to olden times,
Which I could see with my mind's eye.

I thought about steel armored knights,
Who did chivalric honor wear,
And challenged 'round the countryside
To gain the love of ladies fair.

I pondered long on Robin Hood,
His merry men and daring deeds,
On Joan of Arc, Coer de Lion,
Name after famous name succeeds.

I thought awhile of tournaments,
Of flashing swords and banners gay,
Of jousts and fences, melees wild,
Of laurels lost and victor's day.

Far have those golden ages flown,
Born by the wings of changing time,
And leaving us with moldered dust,
With olden story, ancient rhyme.

On Seeing a Summer Tanager Catch a Worm

I saw a Summer Tanager,
With jaunty crested head,
Swoop down from the high cherry bough
To catch a worm. I said,
“Why dost thou, pretty Tanager,
So wantonly take life?
Why dost thou kill this little worm,
And add to this world’s strife?
Why must he prematurely die
To feed thy nesting wife?
But I suppose all things must die,
Succumb to death’s decay.
If not for you, my little bird,
The worms might, in their day,
O’er run the earth with crawling forms,
And then what would I say?”

These two were both written on dreary winter days when the wind was howling around the house. 

The Winds of Winter

The howling winds of winter cold
Lash ‘round the cow’ring dale and fold,
And sweep away o’er barren hill,
Spreading abroad their deadly chill.

Now shrieking, moaning, wailing wild,
Now plaintive cry, as some lost child,
Or curdling, bloody lupine scream
The winds appear to team

With ghostly sprites of former years,
Who, stumbling through their frozen tears,
Beseech, implore, and cry aloud
For fate to lift the final shroud

Of death, and let them live once more,
The golden, happy days of yore.
Of childhood’s mirthfulness and woes,
Of olden springs, and winter’s snows.

But e’en if this can not be had,
Their childhood joys to make them glad,
Then let them rest without a sigh,
And cease to roam through stormy sky.

Let their cold, weary souls have peace,
From such great torment give release.
Permit them all at last to fly
To a more restful place, and lie

Free from all worry, care and pain,
And let them never roam again.
Unto these souls some mercy show,
And let them all find rest, and go.

But unkind fate has sealed their doom,
To wander ever through the gloom
Of frozen earth and darkling sky,
To wander on, and sadly cry.

Storm Sprites

The spirit voices screech and wail,
Scouring, scratching,
But they will fail
To enter at my window pane.

The shiv’ring storm sprites try in vain
Seeking, begging,
Loud they complain
Of my hard heart that keeps them out.

They are left out in the storm,
Cold and hungry,
They try to warm
Chilled fingers at my window pane.


  1. Janie, My Crumpets, I'm struck dumb. I thought I had stumbled into a "Favorite Poems of All Time" book. I know you write amazing stories, and I knew you wrote some poetry, but this? Some of these would make LOVELY songs. Are the words copyrighted? You never cease to amaze me.

  2. Thank you very much for your compliments. No, my poems are not copyrighted. Feel free to put them to music if you so desire.


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